California Poppy

California Poppy - many blooms, garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins

I like the saturated orange of the California Poppy bloom.  It’s bright and happy.

Even more, I like that the plant survives well on roadsides & rocky areas.  A plant that doesn’t need nurturing – bonus!

California Poppy at Snake Rock, garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins

This little patch of poppies lives just down the street at Snake Rock.  It blooms in mid-spring & continues well into the dry summer.

Of course the thought occurred to me, “We NEED that in our garden!” Can’t you imagine how lovely a wave of bright orange would be in the shrub border?

California poppy - seed pod, garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins

Even C is encouraging.  He really likes the bright orange blooms, too. So, for the past 5 years I’ve gathered seed from the roadside, then spread it through our gardens.

There’s been the occasional reward, but mostly I’ve had little success.

The California Poppy has a long tap-root, so where ever it pops up, that’s where it has to stay.  It does not like being moved.  And it doesn’t seem to like being watered either.   Nor fed.  Nor coddled in any way.

The shrub border had a fair amount of fertilizer, mulch & water over the past few years, as the plants were all so new & getting established.  Maybe that’s been too much attention for the poppy.

The most successful patch is on our rocky hillside.  It’s a well-drained site, and bakes in the sun.  The California Poppy will grow in the soil, but seems even happier in the gravel of the pathway!  Go figure.

California Poppy in gravel path, garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins

So far, I’m resisting the urge to weed it out of the path.  I’ve decided that its ‘whimsical’ growing there.

I’m happy about growing a local wildflower.  I’m also very pleased that the deer, who spend their afternoons on our little mountain, leave the California Poppy alone.

My plan is to keep spreading seed in the rest of the garden & be happy with whatever we get.  That’s the true definition of ‘low maintenance’, isn’t it?

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© copyright 2012 SVSeekins

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Yarn Bomb

What can I say about this?

Public Yarn Art 1
photo by SVSeekins

Well, first I said “What the??”  Then, “Ha! It’s knitting!… no wait – crochet?  hmmm.  Not sure.”

Public Yarn Art 2
photos by SVSeekins

It reminds me of a child’s mobile of the solar system.  How fun is that?

Public Yarn Art 3
photo by SVSeekins

Either way, how did they do this?  I bet it was a lot of work.  What a delight to come across along a public street!

Public Yarn Art 4
photo by SVSeekins

I couldn’t NOT smile, so I smiled – a lot   🙂

It just happened to be there one day.  Then it was gone the next time I walked by.

Kudos to those folk for sharing their playful spirit with me.

I like it.

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© copyright 2012 SVSeekins

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Chestnut Trees

Chestnut lined street (behind Hillside Mall)
photo by SVSeekins
chestnut bloom
photo by SVSeekins

Every spring I pause to appreciate this blossom lined street.  Granted it’s not as wonderful as the earlier spring cherry blossoms, but I still think it’s awesome.

In the autumn the chestnuts are pretty awesome, too.  That’s when the nuts drop.  On a street like this, can you imagine how often the car alarms go off?

Chestnut in seed pods, garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins

That’s not the only fun.  The nuts have a thick, fleshy cover – – and that’s covered in spikes! They’re called conkers.  They remind me of some Ninja weapons seen in video games.  It would be awful to step on one, much less be hit by it.

chestnut
photo by SVSeekins

There’s an old story out there that chestnuts ward off spiders.  One year I scattered nuts in corners & closets, but didn’t notice any difference.  I did feel a bit foolish cleaning house, but leaving the nuts  behind the couch.   Perhaps it’s the spiked conker that spiders don’t like?  I’m not about to leave any of those rolling around the house.

There are 2 common kinds of chestnuts used as decorative trees in Victoria.  I’m told one is the kind we hear about ‘roasting on an open fire’.  The other is a horse-chestnut, which I’m assuming is for using the nuts as horse feed?  Perhaps it’s like corn: some kinds are good eating, others are better for feeding stock.

Anyway, spring is the best time of year for me to tell them apart. One blooms a lovely reddish, the other a soft creamy color.

As for which is for ‘roasting’ & which is for ‘horses’, I just don’t know.  Can you help out with that?

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© copyright 2012 SVSeekins